Timing is Everything

Timing can mean everything.

As I’ve mentioned previously, my eldest son invited his roommate (Faris, who hailed from Malaysia) to come home with him for Spring Break last year. It was a Friday evening that I picked the boys up and drove the two hours home. We spent the next several hours sitting in our living room getting to know each other (which I’m sure for a college age male was pure torture, but he was polite and kept up his end of the conversation).

While sitting on the couch, my phone buzzed. It was an alert from CNN. Malaysian Flight 370 was missing. I read the alert to everyone and the shock rolled over us. Luckily, Faris didn’t have any direct connection to anyone on the flight (Malaysia has a population of almost 30 million people).

Spicy Tomato Chicken (Ayam Masak Merah)

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Ayam Masak Merah is a traditional dish that is often served at celebrations such as weddings and so I celebrated Faris staying with us by making it. It is a fiery dish with plenty of great flavor.

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Instead of whole chickens, I used only the dark meat – drumsticks and thighs.

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Prep the peppers and onions.

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Turn it into a paste.

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Spice the chicken.

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Fry the bird.

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It makes a messy dish, but well worth messing up the napkin!

Spicy Tomato Chicken (Ayam Masak Merah)

prep 20 min ∙ cook 35 min ∙ makes 4 servings ∙ source Allrecipes.com

1 (3 pound) whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
salt to taste
1/4 cup dried red chile peppers
3 fresh red chile pepper, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 red onion, chopped
1 (3/4 inch thick) slice fresh ginger root
2 tablespoons sunflower seed oil
1 cinnamon stick
2 whole star anise pods
5 whole cloves
5 cardamom seeds
2 tomatoes, sliced
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 teaspoon white sugar, or to taste
1/2 cup water

1. Rub the chicken with turmeric powder and salt. Set aside. Soak the dried red chile peppers in hot water until softened. Blend the softened dried chile, fresh red chile pepper, garlic, onion, and ginger in a blender to a paste.

2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the chicken in the hot oil until golden on all sides. Remove the chicken from the skillet and set aside. Remove excess oil from the skillet, leaving about 1 tablespoon. Cook and stir the chile paste with the cinnamon, star anise, cloves and cardamom seeds until fragrant. Return the chicken to the skillet. Stir in the water, adding more if needed. Toss in the tomatoes and stir in the ketchup and sugar. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until no the chicken longer pink at the bone and the juices run clear, about 15 minutes. Serve hot.

PREP 20 mins

COOK 35 mins

READY IN 55 mins


Calories 462 kcal 23%
Carbohydrates 15.4 g 5%
Cholesterol 92 mg 31%
Fat 29.7 g 46%
Fiber 3.3 g 13%
Protein 33.6 g 67%
Sodium 280 mg 11%

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Categories: Chicken2, Fried, kosher, Low Carb, Main Dish 3, Malaysian, Recipes

Author:The Ranting Chef

Check out the best recipes at rantingchef.com

One Comment on “Timing is Everything”

  1. December 10, 2014 at 4:12 pm #

    Wow – what a background story! This looks wonderful but I think I’d have to turn the heat down just a notch.


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